In an effort to regain market share and grow business, mobile communications leader BlackBerry has announced that it will open its BlackBerry 10 (BB10) devices for the use of mobile device management (MDM) companies. This will allow mobile device management companies who wish to utilize the devices to finally get access to the software and provide customers with more options.
The Benefits for Mobile Device Management Companies
BlackBerry has offered their own enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions for some time and had been successful with it. However, declining market share in recent years is just one condition that may have led BlackBerry to this decision.
“Offering the end-to-end secure solutions valued by our customers in government and other regulated industries remains central to our strategy. However, BlackBerry understands the opportunity and importance of opening our BlackBerry 10 software,” said Ron Louks, president of Devices and Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry. “This is a natural next step in our enterprise strategy as we seek to provide our customers with maximum choice in how they will meet the full array of employee mobility needs.”
While some see the move to open up their software to competitors as risky, others see it as one that was long overdue, and will be welcomed. For many years, BlackBerry barred third-party device management companies from accessing their devices, and thus drove large corporations to choose other devices such as Apple or Android. Giving this opportunity to mobility management competitors can translate to a big boost in customers for BlackBerry.
BlackBerry hopes that giving mobile device management companies access to BlackBerry BB10 can help salvage customers who were thinking about switching, or were forced to switch their device, to suit the needs of a secure database.
MDM companies, specifically AirWatch, Citrix and IBM, who have already announced that they will work with BlackBerry, also reap the benefits as they are able to offer more mobile device management solutions to their own customers, as well. This can save companies an exorbitant amount of time and energy, as they will no longer have to assist employees with migrating from a BlackBerry 10 device to an Apple or Android Device.
The Influence of BYOD
It has also been speculated that one of the factors in BlackBerry’s decision to allow MDM companies to manage BlackBerry BB10 devices is the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend, sometimes referred to as the “bring your own technology” (BYOT) trend. It references the increasing number of employers who are allowing employees to bring their personal devices to the workplace, and use those devices to access confidential company information, programs and more. By working with other MDM companies, BlackBerry increases the odds that customers will be able to keep their devices in these situations, rather than have to transfer to a compatible device.
According to technology research firm Gartner, nearly half of companies will not only allow, but require, employees to use their own devices for work use by 2017. The BYOD trend certainly comes with many benefits for employers, including increased productivity and a significant decrease in costs since they are no longer providing all devices. With BlackBerry allowing MDM companies to manage devices with BB10, implementing a BYOD policy should definitely be on the minds of company leaders.
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